Denzel Washington Will Do Horrific Things With A Corkscrew In The Equalizer
Don't Expect The Equalizer You KnowIn case your unfamiliar with The Equalizer TV series, the above intro can give you a clue to its tone. The show centered on a retired intelligence officer who has become a sort-of vigilante for the people. In this version, Robert McCall (played by Edward Woodward) advertised his services in a New York City newspaper with this motto: "Odds against you? Need help? Call the Equalizer." The background of Denzel Washington's Robert McCall is far more mysterious. He has special skills to kill, but how he got them is only alluded to in the film. Plus, he doesn't seek out victims to help, but McCall can't ignore the plight of Chloe Moretz's put-upon teen prostitute.
Producer Todd Black was up front about how much of the original series the creative team took in this adaptation's creation: practically nothing. "So the show," he began, "Here's what happened. We found out that the rights were available…Once we found that out, we jumped on them, because my partner and I love the title of what that is."
He realizes that audiences under 50 might not remember the show, "But the title, in my mind, was a great title, was a great, great title. Particularly when you say 'Denzel Washington is the Equalizer.' That kind of matches to me, it's peanut butter and jelly. So we went after the title and the concept of it was great. We weren't really hung up on what the show was and all the machinations of what Robert McCall did or didn't do, and what his backstory was. We knew that that didn't really matter because it was a whole new audience, so we took the concept and we took the title and we made it our own."
He added, "(When the original show ran) that was a long time ago and it wasn't the most popular show on television, and we didn't feel like we had this hardcore responsibility to satisfy those 100,000 fans. We wanted to make something really great and different, and the concept we honor." Beyond that, Black feels people will connect to the idea of feeling voiceless and wanting an Equalizer to step in and save the day for them.
Fuqua, who said he has some familiarity of the show, put it this way, "The basic concept is there. It’s just a different movie. Totally different actors, different filmmakers, different script. Same concept."
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